Alaska Board of Fisheries meeting, pre-Covid pandemic                                                                 Credit: AK Journal of Commerce

Should Board of Fish and Board of Game meetings be pushed to next year? A joint boards committee wants to hear Alaskans thoughts by Friday and will meet on January 19 to discuss it.

Glenn Haight is Boards director –

“It can be looked at pretty simply – Should they just push all the meetings back a year, otherwise keeping things the same. And if you did that what you essentially have is everyone is on a four year cycle for a little while. Or do you want to try to splice up the existing schedule into the next future years”. 

The Boards focus on regional issues every three years. Scheduled for this March and April are 79 proposals for Prince William Sound fisheries, 155 for Southeast and 42 for statewide shellfish issues.

The public has been asked for input since last fall on whether the Board meetings should be held virtually, in person, or at all. 

“We were concerned that a lot of attention we were getting were from participants for this year’s so folks from PWS and SE, but we want to make sure that the other regions know that if we have to postpone these meetings this year, it will impact other regions too. So what are the issues, what are the things the boards should keep in mind if they get to that point of postponing this year’s meetings.”

Scheduled for next year’s meeting cycle are fisheries at Bristol Bay, the Alaska Peninsula, and the Arctic/Yukon/Kuskokwim regions.

Haight says bumping meetings for a year raises budget questions and tweaks the schedules of both boards.

 “The other one that is not as well-known but the Board of Fish and Board of Game schedules are synched in such a way that a particular region isn’t going to have to look at and address Board of Game proposals in the same year they do Board of Fish. So if we start to rearrange those schedules it throws that out of whack. So it’s more of a workload for advisory committees and stakeholders involved with both boards and the  subsistence section.”

Public comments are accepted through Friday, Jan. 15. Comments can be entered online   or emailed to dfg.bof.comments@alaska.gov/

The January 19 joint committee meeting will be streamed live but no public testimony will be taken.

Comments already sent in don’t need to be resubmitted, Haight says, unless your position has changed.

“If your position has changed and you want to resubmit a new comment that would be appreciated but make a strong note that your position has changed so the board recognizes that when they look at it.”

The Board of Game will then meet on January 21 and the Board of Fish on January 25 to decide on how to proceed.

Questions? Contact the Boards Support Section at (907) 465-4110.

 

 

 

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